Senior exhibits art

Far Eastern Influence Washburn senior art student Patrick Tomei uses the influence of chinese beliefs in his art. Tomei’s display will be on view until the end of the year.

Michelle Boltz / Washburn Review

Patrick Tomei’s senior exhibit “Zenskunigenron” is on display from Dec. 5-23 inside of the Andrew J. & Georgia Neese-Gray Theater Lobby Gallery. Zenskunigenron (pronounced “ze n a ku ni ge n ro n”) is heavily influenced on Taoism, a Chinese philosophy which portrays the balance between good and evil. Some of Tomei’s works includes poetry, which helps to describe the meaning behind each piece.

“On the surface of Zenskunigenron it means exactly that, but it reaches far beyond good and evil,” said Tomei. “The poems of the Tao de ching have many interpretations and reflect the experiences of the reader, much like art is interpreted by the viewer,” said Tomei.

“The 10,000 things carry yin and balances yang. They achieve harmony by combining those forces (Lao Tsu).”

“I do not just create art, but art in turn creates me,” said Tomei. “From when my brush touches the canvas the canvas is like a mirror painting on me as I paint on it. This duality is a part of my life and work as an artist.”

The art Tomei creates on canvas may only focus on one side of the actual duality. His work as a whole focuses on both sides. He focuses on the subject of angels and demons and the eternal conflict between the two forces, but also focuses on other ways to interpret this philosophy into his art. The white side of the paper represents one side and the ink represents the other, two forces fighting over dominance.

“I am greatly influenced by oriental culture, from the religious philosophy to the artwork and style,” said Tomei. “However, the history and mythos that makes up these ancient lands is vast spanning thousands of years. I have only just barely explored this region and with further explanation. I am sure I will find and discover more exciting and interesting concepts and ideas.”

“As long as my mind remains open I will continue to learn and experience new things,” said Tomei. “However, the day my mind closes is the day I give up on my entire future and refuse to go any further down the path of creation and discovery.”

The Andrew J. & Georgia Neese-Gray Theater Lobby Gallery’s hours are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The gallery will close from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2 when the university closes for Winter Break.